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Malik Hooker Out for the Season, Tears MCL and ACL

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, Colts 1st round pick and up-and-coming rookie Malik Hooker tore his ACL and his MCL in Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Late in the 2nd quarter, Hooker was chasing Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns down the field when another Jaguars receiver Keelan Cole came screaming across the field and hit Hooker with a low block. Immediately, Hooker was in discomfort and upon further review you could see that his right leg suffered the initial contact and the brunt of the hit. A video of the play and the replay can be seen here.

Hooker was having a fantastic season for the Colts, amassing 22 tackles, 4 pass deflections and 3 interceptions, including an interception in 3 consecutive games. Hooker played the role of a “center field” safety for the Colts and often teams threw away from his side of the field. He far exceeded the expectations of most fans and has the look of a future All Pro player.

The severity of the tear is still unknown, but Hooker is expected to miss at least 8 to 10 months. If it takes 10 months, Hooker would return in late August.

Adrian Peterson tore his ACL and MCL in December 2011 and rehabbed well enough to return to the field for Week 1 of the 2012 season (but with no training camp or preseason). Rob Gronkowski also tore his ACL and MCL in December 2013, and was able to return to the field for Week 1 of the 2014 season (but with no training camp or preseason).

Losing Hooker is a big blow to the Colts, who have already suffered a number of injuries to their top players. Losing Hooker is a big blow to the secondary, which has been an issue for the Colts this season. With Hooker out, Darius Butler is expected to fill in at free safety.